As I assess this dust-up about Bob Woodward being “threatened” by the White House, part of me wants to break out laughing and part of me wants to dress in black to commemorate the sorry state of the American news media.
We have many of them going after Woodward for saying he was threatened by a senior White House official. It was an interview on CNN, in which they reported that Woodward said he was threatened. But if you listen to the interview, Woodward does not say he was threatened, he only quotes an e-mail in which this senior official tells him he’ll “regret staking out that claim.” He merely opines that it made him uncomfortable. And then Politico publishes the e-mail (which was clearly provided to them by Sperling, since Woodward refused to reveal the source) to try to discredit Woodward’s interpretation that it was a threat. But that wasn’t Woodward’s interpretation but CNN’s.
The White House defends the e-mail saying that the context was not threatening. Agreed. But what I would say about the e-mail is that statement in the middle of the e-mail (“I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.”) seems terribly out of place, like a bright red sweater in a closet full of pastels. You can take that as that the context was friendly, but to me it is that the context makes the statement seem strange.
But it’s the reaction of the establishment media that makes the point more than anything else. The White House, by numerous reports, has been intimidating toward reporters with whom it disagrees. Democrat Lanny Davis and others have reported “disciplinary actions” threatened and carried out for actions with which Obama disagreed. He has tried to ostracize Fox News, and would have succeeded had not the White House press corps stood up for freedom of the press. And now, all the “good” members of the press are piling on Woodward, making lots of brownie points in the process, which is highly illustrative of the state of the once great American news media.
Obama needs a servile press to move his agenda. He has been absolutely ridiculous in claims he is making about the sequester, and he needs them not to call him on it. Look at his claims now, for example, about his powerless situation, and contrast those with comments in the past about how, if Congress wouldn’t act, he would take matters into his own hands. It is absolutely absurd, how he is acting, and yet he gets away with it.
But this managing of our information and expressions of opinion is typical of the Left. Free speech, freedom of the press, and other freedoms are a threat to their agenda of government control of our lives. Consider other related examples:
In another post, I make a point that the Obama administration’s lawsuit against Standard & Poors is basically an attack against free speech. Standard & Poors downgraded the credit rating of his administration, and he doesn’t like it. If they sued them for that opinion, it would be too obvious. So they are suing them for another opinion – their ratings of other investments related to the financial crisis. Either way, however, it is an assault on their freedom of expression.
They object to the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court, and favor denying free speech rights to corporations. The basic presumption there is that if you organize yourselves as a corporation, you have no first amendment rights. But almost all books and newspapers are published by corporations, as well as TV and radio newscasts being broadcast by corporations. So if corporations have no first amendment rights, we could then conclude that the government has the power to regulate the content of books and the news.
Obamacare gives power to government bureaucrats to compel behavior that violates the conscience of religious people.
Tyranny inches forward, step by step, and look how few people are willing to stand up to it.
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